Birth Day!

The past four years we have been pretty good about going out, making time for lunches and winery days. Dragging Kaili around was like second nature. She just went with the flow, tucked into her back pack of goodies and for the most part kept herself entertained. Averi, on the other hand hasn’t been as complaisant to sit in a highchair or spend time twiddling with play-doh. She would rather manage the back of the kitchen or throw toys on the ground. Who the hells kid is this? I have found myself bowing out of a lot more things these days… just knowing how much of my time and patience will be spent managing Averi instead of actually enjoying myself, so we stay home. But for my birthday, I wanted to go out. Out, out…without kids. To the places that shun kids, the places I haven’t been to in years or ever. So we got a sitter and planned the afternoon checking into places that were just that, adults only.

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It was a whopping good time. I even got the courage, ahem, thanks to my nudging husband, to introduce myself to one of my favorite chefs. If you watch Top Chef than he needs no introduction.

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Richard Blais in a nutshell < Top chef runner up, Top Chef All-stars Winner. Guest judge on Top Chef, learned from some of the Master chefs aka Thomas Keller and now has two San Diego restaurants which is why I was able to capture this photo.>  Happy birthday to me.

We also squeezed in a quick stop at the Waterfront Bar and Grill. The oldest tavern in San Diego and I am embarrassed to admit neither of us had ever been there..hangs head in shame.

IMG_0349I will leave it at this. I had a great time and I crossed a lot of places off of my to-do list but I did not feel hot the next day. Next year I want to go kayaking and eat at Nobu in Malibu. Shane says we should wait until 2017 to decide…whatever, that just gives me time to plan a roaring 40’s birthday eating seaside in Hawaii!

Date Night

I am way behind on my writing. We have been busy the past few weeks and when I did have free time I couldn’t find the motivation to put pen to paper.

Shane and I were given the opportunity to have a date night last week. I have been waiting to try a new restaurant so it took me no time to decide what to do.

Richard Blais, Bravo’s Top Chef  All-Stars winner just opened a new restaurant in Little Italy and it just so happens to be across the street from a new winery. We have been to San Diego Cellars a couple of times but its been during my pregnancy so I have been eager to try their wines.

We spent an hour at SD cellars while waiting for our reservations. Conversations flow easily with Todd, the winemaker and he was filling us in on his future wine making endeavors.

Dinner time rolled around and I walked into Juniper and Ivy like a kid waking up on Christmas morning. I had been waiting for this day for almost a year, to say I was excited is an understatement. We started with a nice bottle of Italian wine to pair with the Kurobuta pork meatball and bone marrow with crispy oysters to start.

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I had never had bone marrow before and I was pleasantly surprised. The meatball, topped with a mole sauce was also good.

For our main dishes, Shane tried the pork porterhouse which the waitress claims to have made grown men cry. I wouldn’t go that far but it was pretty darn good. I went with the white bass in a Veracruz sauce served over mashed black eye peas. I wasn’t thrilled with my decision, turns out I don’t love mashed peas but the fish was perfect.

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We couldn’t leave without trying a dessert so we easily agreed on the Yodel. A devils cake rolled up in a white chocolate ganache, covered in dark chocolate along some hazelnut brittle and deliciously dressed in hot chocolate. We indulged and every bite was delicious.

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It was a great night and  I would recommend you try both San Diego cellars and Juniper and Ivy if you are in San Diego, they live up to the hype.
It was so nice to get out of the house with my husband and have time just the two of us, talking, dining, drinking. I didn’t worry about the kids, I didn’t feel guilty being out, I was just happy.